Red umbrella second line draws attention to HIV/AIDS

The Red Umbrella HIV/AIDS Awareness Second Line will take the to the streets of Treme on Saturday to increase awareness of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community.

LSU Health Sciences Center is the sponsor of the event, and faculty and students will staff an educational booth at the associated Health and Wellness Fair, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Congo Square in Armstrong Park.

The fair is part of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The Lady Buck Jumpers and the Dumaine Street Gang will begin the march at 11 a.m. at the North Rampart Street entrance to Congo Square.

The purpose of the event is to draw attention to the disproportionately rising rate of HIV infection among African-Americans in New Orleans and to educate the community about the disease, as well as resources available to prevent, detect early, treat and live with it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV Surveillance Report Volume 22, Louisiana ranked as the 4th highest state in the nation in AIDS case rates.

Baton Rouge ranked 1st, and New Orleans ranked fifth in the country in AIDS case rates.

A new feature this year is the Red Umbrella Decorating Contest for the group and individual best capturing the Red Umbrella Message of the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness and education in the African American Community.

Decorated umbrellas will be judged along the parade route, and the winners will be announced during the victory to combat HIV/AIDS ceremony back at Congo Square.